Lucknowi Biryani

This delicious one-pot pilau, also known as Lucknowi Biryani, is a fragrant mixture of succulent lamb, saffron infused rice and fragrant spices. It’s easy to make and guaranteed to really impress! 


300g basmati rice
3 tbsp cooking oil
700g lamb shoulder or leg, diced into small cubes
2 red onions, sliced
100g Shemin’s Indian Curry Paste (Mild, Medium, Hot or Chilli-Free)
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp Shemin’s Biryani Pilau Blend
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 level tsp salt
600ml chicken stock
A pinch of saffron soaked in a little warm water (optional)
A handful of roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped (optional)
A small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear and leave to soak in warm water
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a lidded frying pan over a high heat, then add the lamb. Sear the lamb until golden brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate and set aside
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the oil to the pan along with the onions. Then fry, stirring occasionally until soft, brown and caramelised
  4. Add Shemin’s Indian Curry Paste and the 3 tbsp of water, then stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Then add Shemin’s Biryani Pilau Spice Blend, natural yoghurt, the browned lamb, and salt, and stir-fry for another couple of minutes. Add a little more water if the mixture gets too dry
  5. Drain the rice and add to the pan along with the chicken stock and saffron. Bring everything to the boil, then put the lid on. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Then, still keeping the pan covered, take off the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Resist the temptation to open the lid!
  6. When ready, fluff up the rice with a fork and sprinkle over the cashews and coriander, and serve piled high on a plate

TIP: You can substitute the lamb with any meat, or for a vegetarian substitute such as par boiled potatoes, chickpeas and peas.

Serves 6

Products used in this recipe